12 JULY 1957, Page 39

Sporting Life

PHILIP K. CROWE, the author of Diversions of a Diplomat in Ceylon (Macmillan, 30s.), was Until recently United States Ambassador to Cey- lon. Diplomacy may have interested him to a cer- tain extent, but all forms of hunting, fishing and even exploring interested him much more. The very titles of the chapters indicate the born sports- man. 'Leopards in the Moonlight,' Binoculars and Shotguns,' Guns and Game' are those of the most interesting chapters in the book. It is hard ppme, who know so well a very different Cey- t to that enjoyed by this distinguished author, °. Pronounce on the merits of his absorbing ae- roinnt of the wild animals which inhabit the 411(1, the bears, leopards, boars, buffaloes, "leer, elephants, crocodiles and so on. I mys-.1.1

was always more interested in the human inhabi- tants. I agree with Mr. Crowe over the beauties and interest of Kandy, but do not share his en- thusiasm for Nuwara Eliya which 1 found a sort of glorified Cheltenham. When the author leaves the subject of sport he is sometimes tempted into loose writing. He tells us, for instance, that the famous Hindu shrine of Kataragama is a place of pilgrimage not only for Buddhists as well as Hindus, but also for Moslems and Christians who, he says, also worship the seven-headed Hindu god, a statement I take leave to doubt.